Author Michael Pollan talks about his rules for eating food vs. food like substances (what most of Americans eat) and some of his thinking behind his convictions. I just finished one of his books, In Defense of Food and it is was a great awakening to me that WE DON'T EAT FOOD...WE EAT THE PRODUCTS OF FOOD SCIENCE!
- Whole Grains
- Fresh Dairy
- Humanely-raised Meat
Food Like Substances are:
- Gogurt Portable Yogurt
- Protein Bars
- Lucky Charms Cereal
- Entenmann's Apple Puffs
- Frozen Dinners
- Easy Mac Macaroni & Cheese
I have been in the process of changing over my diet from food like substances to food for the past year. These are some easy ways to make small changes quickly that will make a huge impact in the way that you feel.
- Buy organic dairy. This ensures that there are no hormones or antibiotics fed to the cows which end up in your body after you eat their dairy products.
- Buy grass-fed or humanely raised meat. This ensures that these animals are raised on their natural diet and allowed to exhibit their natural behaviors. The animal is healthier, the meat is healthier.
- Do not buy anything containing hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup. These are two toxic food additives that harm you every time you eat them. HFCS makes everything taste sweeter which feeds your cravings for more sweets, and hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils make food like substances last for years on the shelves (gross!).
- Replace one meal with a fruit and vegetable smoothie. Any blender (you know... the one you bought to make margaritas and mudslides) will do. I buy a huge batch once a week (usually no more than $30-$40 worth) and it lasts me just about all week. I try to put at least 5 different fruits and/or vegetables in my smoothies. I find that when I make a healthy choice in the morning it ripples through my food choices for the rest of the day. Plus you will find it will make you feel amazing!
- Do not stress about eating healthy all the time. Or you may become ORTHOREXIC! Just kidding. Make healthy choices as often as you can, and when there is absolutely no possible way of eating something healthy (fruits, veggies, food that is not heavily processed, or covered in gobs of cheese) just think of it as your free pass to indulge in something you would not normally eat but you enjoy.
If you make only these 5 changes you will start to feel the positive effects. You don't have to "go to extremes" like eating only raw food, eating no meat, or not accepting dinner invitations because you know they will not be serving "healthy" food. These 5 upgrades will make a positive change in your life.